A one-line summary of “The Fabulous” would be that it is the lighthearted story of four friends set against the backdrop of the fashion world. Honestly, it is less of a connected story and more of four individual subplots that make guest appearances in the other characters’ lives. We will admit that “The Fabulous” was quite smooth and engaging. The complaint that we have is that it just wasn’t fabulous. And it seriously lacked emotional depth, which came across as a surprise since K-dramas are known for catching the nuances of every possible emotion in relationships. Either way, without much ado, let us get into the events of the series and why they left us feeling so underwhelmed.
The Lives Of The Four Main Protagonists
“The Fabulous” starts with Joseph, one of the main protagonists, organizing his fashion show. He is extremely on edge about it and fires one of the models, someone who was making her debut with his show, on the spot. It was the first and meanest thing done by anybody in the series. Either way, another one of his friends, Seon Ho, is modeling for him, and backstage, two of his other friends meet, who also happen to be exes. There seems to be some tension between Ji Eun and Woo Min, but they claim to be just friends with each other now. However, when Ji Eun introduces her current boyfriend, Nam Jin, to Woo Min, he has no qualms about calling himself Ji Eun’s ex rather than her friend.
Moving on to the show itself, it goes fabulously well, but right as Joseph is about to make his entry on the runway, the power of the entire place goes out. It is the work of the model he fired, and we can’t help but agree with her anger. But this story is not about her, and the four friends decide to drown out this disaster in a night of partying. However, that leads to what could possibly be another disaster: the exes spend the night together. The next day, Ji Eun is furious and disappointed. She leaves his apartment and heads to meet Nam Jin, but her bad luck continues as he breaks up with her, citing their different interests in life.
With her personal life in a mess, she focuses on the difficulties of her professional life. Ji Eun works for a firm named AUDREY, and they need JD, a rising star, to wear one of their pieces for her pictorial. However, the editor-in-chief who is handling the pictorial supposedly has problems with AUDREY, so Ji Eun has to go and talk to her to convince her to use something from their brand. Ji Eun sure is a hardworking girl, and to win Ahn Nam Hee’s heart, she walks up a hill in her heels (at least halfway through it) and then goes to a faraway market just to get the bread that she would like. The bread works its charm, and the pictorial is a success, with JD wearing AUDREY’s jewelry and Ahn Nam Hee developing a soft corner for Ji Eun. Even Woo Min, who is the photographer on board, wins a few brownie points. But Seon Ho is not having such a great day. She’s dating the designer Young Min, for whom she is walking the show. He is quite cold to her, and even the rest of the models seem to dislike her quite a bit. Things take an ugly turn when there is a literal fight between Seon Ho and the models, in which they end up bruising each other. Young Min berates Seon Ho for it, which makes her understand that he probably doesn’t want the relationship anymore. Well, she is not the type of person to stay in places where she is not wanted, so she breaks up with him. The friends meet up that night and have one too many drinks. They end up driving to Young Min’s place, where they hear another woman’s voice and suspect that he has an affair. Angry on behalf of her friend, Ji Eun throws a rock at his window, only to find that the woman is Hong-Ji Sun, JD’s stylist. And now, she is going to do everything she can to make Ji Eun’s life difficult. Meanwhile, Nam Jin tells her that his breaking up with her was just a test to see whether she actually liked him or was with him because of his stature, and he wants to get back together now that he believes that she is a woman of virtue. At the same time, Woo Min tells Seon Ho that though he likes Ji Eun, he does not want to be with her because he does not want the responsibilities of a relationship. Once again, who decided that men were the gender with greater clarity? But Woo Min is pretty sweet and is always there for Ji Eun, be it helping her grandmother or showing up for her whenever she wants. That doesn’t make her life easy, though and she gets stuck dealing with the tantrums of JD and the aftermath of it, her boss. But that comes with the territory, we guess.
On Seon Ho’s end, once she stands up for a model Hye Na, who was the one who started a brawl with her earlier, she gains a friend in her. Elsewhere, Joseph is disgruntled at the lack of agencies wanting to work with him, as he is not yet famous. But things seem better when Ms. Hong buys 89 pieces from his show. However, he doesn’t know what is coming for him yet. She returns 88 of his pieces the next day, which is, frankly, the pettiest thing we have ever seen.
Ji Eun’s agency Audrey is running out of luxury brands to represent, and they desperately need a client. They get the chance to pitch for RUBLANI, but Ji Eun suspects that it is Nam Jin’s attempt at getting back together with her. Upon her confrontation, he makes it an open voting system to put her mind at ease and avoid any future allegations of the same. Delighted, Ji Eun prepares for the event, but just as it is about to start, it starts raining. Her agency tells her that it is not her fault, and they can just give up at this point, but Ji Eun exhibits a stronger spirit. She pulls some strings with her friends and organizes quite a fabulous event at the last minute, getting them the account. Also, it is at this party that Joseph proves to be the bigger person. JD doesn’t treat Ms. Hong very well and doesn’t stand up for her when she is not invited to the party. Joseph steps up and gets her in with the help of Nam Jin.
Things are much sweeter for a while, especially with Joseph. He designs a beautiful bag, but its production cost is, unfortunately, a little too high. Therefore, he decides to set up a pop-up store to showcase his products. On Ji Eun’s end, she finds herself in charge of escorting Thierre Henry, an eccentric designer who is back in Korea. She takes Woo Min’s help in driving him around and finds the places that he wants to go to a little odd. She feels as if he is looking for someone, specifically his birth mother, but with a little help from Ahn Nam Hee, she figures out that he is looking for a person named Vincent Cha, a man he had fallen in love with ages ago. Vincent is running a custom tailor shop that is on the verge of shutting down. With a little bit of tact, Ji Eun puts them in touch with each other, and it is easily the restart of a sweet love story. Having a new perspective on things, Thierre Henry shows up at Joseph’s pop-up store, which is a huge hit. As for Woo Min, spending all that time with Ji Eun makes him want to be her boyfriend. What happened to him not wanting to take responsibility? Either way, when he asks her out, she declines, as she has started dating Nam Jin again. Following this, the focus is back on her career, and Ji Eun finds success when Ahn Nam Hee, unexpectedly tries on one of AUDREY’s client’s products and posts positively about it. She also faces disappointment when, in a series of confusions, she is unable to deliver a product on time. Through all this, she realizes that Woo Min is the guy who always shows up for her. And she is angry because—why couldn’t he have been like this before? But their love story is boring and exists only to satisfy the k-drama tropes of romance. More interesting things are happening with Seon Ho, who has incurred the wrath of a powerful woman by standing up for Hye Na. She finds herself blacklisted from a lot of agencies and realizes that modeling is not as lucrative anymore due to the rise of influencers. Hence, she decides to explore other careers. Meanwhile, Woo Min finds another way to tell Ji Eun that he loves her. He finds an old hangout of theirs and uses it to make an exhibition of his own, with pictures of Ji Eun that he has taken over the years. By this time, she has broken up with Nam Jin because she has realized that, despite liking each other, they come from two different worlds, and being with him forces her to change herself, even if he doesn’t ask for it. Following the breakup, she is free to do what she wants, and she gives in to her desire to be with Woo Min. The exes are finally together again, and things can only go uphill from here, which they do.
Joseph is offered a job as the creative director of Thierre Henry’s brand. But he declines, as he wants to stay back in Korea and work on building his own brand. However, with a little interference from his mother, the offer is revamped, and he is offered to work on his own thing independently while being the creative director of Theirre Henry’s company in Korea. Around this time, Ji Eun and Woo Min go on a camping trip, where they talk through their feelings and misunderstandings of the past. But they have to return early when Ji Eun has to deal with another impending nightmare. A bag goes missing, and they must find it. Meanwhile, Seon Ho is offered some work, but it is from her ex-boyfriend. She is initially hesitant but reconsiders it when she realizes that she doesn’t want to give up on being a model after all. She signs up with an agency in New York and decides to try her luck there, as there isn’t much for her to do in Korea anymore. Her boyfriend is the sweetest man in the show, and he offers to follow her while she shoots her documentary. Fire multiple shots, and one of them will hit the target. CEO Oh even finds the lost bag, though she faints from the stress of it all. But the friends go out and celebrate how well their lives are going. Honestly, if we were working a demanding job, things going well would look suspicious to us, and we would immediately start getting anxious. But these people are cut from a different cloth.
‘The Fabulous’ Ending Explained: Does Ji Eun Take Up The Job? What Happens To The Friends?
It is time for EARLAINE’s launch, and Joseph has cold feet. He doesn’t feel like anything he has done is up to the mark and wants to cancel the whole thing. But Ji Eun encourages him as a friend, which calms him down a little. AUDREY is handling the event, and their firm has been chosen to take care of the Korean marketing for EARLAINE. Her good work is recognized by some of the other companies, and they offer her a job. Meanwhile, Woo Min has decided to go abroad to further pursue his skills and his dream of being a photographer. He goes as part of an important project and comes back with the aim to work more.
As for Seon Ho, standing up for your principles helps, and when she prevents some models from getting bullied, she finds herself in the good books of the industry once again. And now, knowing that Thierre Henry and EARLAINE are with AUDREY, it is time for Ms. Hong to “suck up” to Ms. Oh. Things are looking pretty, and Joseph’s show is a success. Ji Eun decides to stay back at AUDREY because she loves her job and who she works for. Seon Ho decides to take her career to the next level and fulfill her dream of modeling in all the major cities for all the best designers. The friends are happily walking by when Ji Eun gets a call. It is another emergency at work, and the friends laugh, knowing that they will be each other’s “ride or die” forever.
Final Thoughts: What Works For ‘The Fabulous’ Season 1?
Like we said before, it is not a bad show; it is just not a fabulous one. The conflicts are too simple and easily resolved; the friends are just there in each other’s lives without any real chemistry, and Woo Min is another flaky character who we don’t like very much. Even the glitz and glamor of “The Fabulous” is severely underplayed. We believe we have seen better in other shows. Hardly does a dress or an accessory make a statement, which is not what you expect from a show based on fashion. But if you choose to ignore all that and just look at “The Fabulous” as a show about four friends just having fun, you will like it more because your expectations will be lower. We are not going to recommend it to anyone because it just doesn’t have that oomph. It was an okay watch, and we will live with that.
“The Fabulous” is a 2022 Drama Romance series streaming on Netflix.